LEICESTER, Mass. --- The Anna Maria College football team closed out their 2016 season with a 31-7 loss to visiting cross-town rival Becker College on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field in Leicester. The Hawks of Becker conclude their 2016 year with a 3-7 record while the AMCATS of Anna Maria conclude their season at 1-9.
Becker sophomore quarterback Mitchell Driscoll (Rutland, Mass. / Wachusett) picked up his first win under center, throwing for 174 yards and two touchdowns. Senior running back Jacob Holmes (Worcester, Mass. / Westborough) ran for 97 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown while senior wide receiver DeJahn Dawkins (East Hartford, Conn. / Cheney Tech) caught six passes for 71 yards and a score. Senior defensive lineman Alexander Stewart (Gifford, Fla. / Sebastian River) was a dominant force at the line as he recorded four sacks with seven of his ten tackles going for a loss. Sophomore defensive back Shakir Leacock (Brooklyn, N.Y. / William E. Grady) recorded two interceptions with a pick-six to go along with two tackles. Senior linebacker LaDarrius Carter (Capitol Heights, Md. / Paloma Valley) finished with a team-high 11 tackles.
Anna Maria received the opening kickoff and reached the Becker 40 before Becker junior linebacker Angel Flores (Azusa, Calif. / Azusa) made a big play on third down, defending the pass and nearly picking it off. The AMCATS got a great punt, starting the Hawks on their own three.
Forced to punt, Becker got a huge break when Anna Maria fumbled during the return with senior defensive back Davin Collins (Far Rockaway, N.Y. / New Utrecht) knocking the ball out and senior defensive lineman Richardson Marseille (West Palm Beach, Fla. / Seminole Ridge) recovering it on their own 38.
It took Driscoll just six plays to find Dawkins on a slant for a 24 yard touchdown pass as the Hawks took a 7-0 lead.
After a three-and-out by the AMCATS, Jacob Holmes exploded out of the backfield for a 39 yard touchdown run, giving the Hawks a two score lead at 14-0.
Anna Maria's problems snowballed when they were intercepted on their very next play as Leacock picked off the pass and returned it 25 yards for a pick-six as the Hawks went up 21-0.
Due to a strong Hawks defense, the AMCATS were forced to punt on their next four possessions. With 2:31 left in the first half, Collins picked off a pass on third down, giving the Hawks a short field. The Anna Maria defense held, however, forcing another Becker punt. The final seconds of the half featured an odd sequence where both teams were intercepted, but the score remained 21-0 Becker going into halftime.
Becker took over at the start of the third quarter, with Driscoll engineering an eight-play drive, capped off with a 15 yard screen pass to senior offensive lineman Cruz Desrochers (Malden, Mass. / Malden), who had checked into the game as an eligible receiver. Playing in the final game of his career, Desrochers rumbled into the end zone and put the Hawks ahead 28-0.
Later in the third quarter, Anna Maria seemed poised to make a play when they forced Becker to punt from the Hawks one yard line. But Dawkins successfully got off a 50 yard punt and the defense once again held firm, ultimately leading to a turnover on downs.
Now in the fourth quarter, Becker ground out a 14 play drive that ate up 5:19, ending in a 30-yard field goal from Jacob Holmes as the Hawks went ahead 31-0.
Anna Maria finally broke through with 4:31 remaining in the game as Jones-Clark broke two tackles and scrambled 15 yards to the end zone, making the score 31-7. On the ensuing kickoff, the AMCATS recovered their on-side kick, taking over at their own 45. But a sack by Stewart on third down led to Anna Maria turning it over on fourth down. Becker ran off most of the clock, and freshman defensive back Cheolices Shannon (Staten Island, N.Y. / Curtis) picked off Jones-Clark with 13 seconds left to seal it for the Hawks.